UN-ESCWA organized a workshop on "Composite Economic Indicators for Short-term Economic Forecasting" in Amman, Jordan, from 12 to 13 March 2007. The main objective of short-term economic forecasting is to assess economic conditions and use this as a guide to the necessary policies required for preserving economic activity at the highest sustainable level. The lack of knowledge of what is happening in the economy without an informed view of its likely performance in the months ahead, prevents governments from formulating and implementing intelligent policies to further the economic objectives considered necessary.
The workshop aimed to enhance the capacity of UN-ESCWA member countries in preparing short-term economic forecasts by building "composite economic indicators" and upgrading institutional capabilities to initiate and develop those indicators. Another objective was to increase awareness of the need for quarterly national accounting time series in member countries. At the end of the workshop, institutional capacities were built in UN-ESCWA member countries to initiate, update and utilize available short-term statistics to construct composite economic indicators for short-term economic forecasting.
Participants in the workshop included government officials in charge of economic forecasting in central banks, national statistical offices and finance ministries; research economists at universities, international and regional organizations and civil society; as well as financial economists from the private sector.